Cosmic Psychos: Blokes You Can Trust: DVD

Jun 13, 2014

I snuck out of work for an hour on a Monday night about fifteen years ago to go see the Cosmic Psychos play an all ages show down the street. I figured nobody’d miss me and I’d hafta be a real douche to not go see the Cosmic Psychos playing a block away. I was likely right on both counts. Since the ‘80s, this Aussie trio—sort of like the missing link between Cream and the Lurkers, or arguably the antipodal equivalent of the Dictators—has drunkenly thundered out jillions of slabs of ear-pulping muck, and this documentary takes you from their roots ((rural Australian teenagers who somehow get hold of punk records and then there goes the neighborhood)) to the present ((rural Australian fifty-somethings worrying about losing the family farm they’ve had for three generations)). Given that this is a band best known for ending its sets with a collective mooning, I was surprised how laid back the interviews were: The principals are shot, individually, relaxing in their cheerfully lit Australian homes. Towards the end, late-stage guitarist Macka eventually hams it up a bit by doing his interview wearing nothing but a pair of blue underwear, with the microphone taped to his chest blubber, but, generally speaking, these are some pretty down-to-earth dudes. Er, blokes ((i suppose that’s fitting for a band whose principal member, Ross Knight, opted out of the band’s first European tour because he’d recently bought a bulldozer)). This laid back, everyman feel extends to the interview segments with some of the band’s more high-profile supporters—Eddie Vedder, Butch Vig, Steve Albini—who, by grace of association with Australian bulldozer owners, come off as normal joes a bit more than is their norm. The interviews are occasionally interspersed with brilliant, John Kricfalusi-styled cartoons depicting important moments in band history. The thing that struck me most after watching this was what a full, cool life Ross Knight has led—dude grows up on a farm in the middle of nowhere, starts a band, tours the world, meets all these people, dates a New York S&M queen, winds up getting songwriting royalties on an L7 song that the Prodigy winds up covering, sets world weightlifting records ((“for his age and weight class,” he’ll be quick to point out)), has two kids, and still lives on a farm, goes down to the pub, rocks out, and shows his butt at the end of the night, even though he’s in his fifties. Good on him. I fucking knew beer made you smarter and more successful! –Rev. Nørb (MVD Visual,